Thursday, November 26, 2009

Egyptians and Chess

Sorry this is so late. I didn't forget to post today, but I had to study for a surprise math quiz.

Anyway, along the lines of my "desert" theme, I thought you might enjoy learning a little about a board game in ancient Egypt.

Ancient Egyptians played a variety of games before they became popular in the modern era. This included wrestling, tug of war, ball games, ..., and senet! This game was played by two opponents, each controlling seven pieces. The pieces could be maneouvered on a perw, a 3 x 10 checkered board that resembled the 8 x 8 versions used in chess and checkers today. Moves were determined by throwing astragals, or sticks. The stick positions would guide pieces around a track while landing on certain squares (representing good or bad fortune), which would then affect the player's strategy. Simple versions of the game were sometimes marked out on pavement or stone, though more precious boards could be found in the tombs of the wealthy (including Tut's). It was Egypt's national game for 3000 years!
You can play a modified version of the game at: